To the West (01)

To the West (01)

In middle of the June I decided to write my story here, so here I am. I got a free time to telling my story in ten posts; however, writing about my life’s events is not easy as long as you don’t know about Iran history and culture. different period of time effects on today’s Iran. Knowing about that makes clear perspective and easy to understand my story, so I began my first autobiography series post by that.

Iran has a long, huge and great history as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel on Lectures on the Philosophy of History said, “The Persians are first Historical People; Persia was the first Empire that passed away.” Therefore, we do not have a national independence day because we always exist, but we have a regime independence day. Thus, let’s began with a contemporary history of Persia.

Iran modern history began from Reza Shah monarchy in 1925. He was a former general who could finish Qajar dynasty after for about 130 years and was founding his dynasty named Pahlavi. It was about twenty years that Iran passed constitutional revolution, but Reza Shah who became a king from parliament does not care about first Asia democracy and began to building a modern country from his opinion. In 1941 he forced to quit by Britain and Russian government during World War II, and his son Mohammad Reza Shah replaced. Pahlavi dynasty interested to make up Iran as Europe; however, Iran religion is unique even in Middle East.

For about 95 presents of population are Shia. A Shia cleric, Ayatollah Khomeini, began a movement against Pahlavi dynasty and he made Islamic revolution in 1975. At the first, as history of Iran, people were looking for freedom and democracy, but Islamic politician take the place and made a Pseudo-democracy/Pseudo-dictatorship. Iraq attacks Iran in 1980 and eight years after they finish the war. In summer 1988 Ayatollah Khomeini order to executions of Iranian political prisoners who still not believes to Islam and want act against regime. “Human rights organizations estimate that between 4,500 and 5,000 men, women and children were killed in the summer of 1988 in prisons across Iran” (Amnesty International).

In 1989 The first leader died and Ali Khamenei replace Khomeini position; however, they change the constitution which the leader got more power. In Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran the leader control two different army, police, radio and television, head of the judicial, who can be candidates for presidency, parliament and the senate. The senate called Assembly of Experts of the Leadership. Their duty is Setting up and supervising the leadership. As you can see, the leader choice the senate candidate to supervising him which never happen. After leader, the president who is the head of the cabinet has duty to act all leader policy, but not that much dictatorship. People in Iran has power as well. Regime leader has to be a Shia cleric as the members of senate. Shia cleric has power while people support them. People in Iran has different opinion, so they can push members of senate and the leader to accept some policy. For instant, people pushed leader to accept stooped the nuclear project. Also regime with propaganda try to Convinced them for regime policy. Therefore, public opinion is strong somehow as the leadership is strong.

In 1997, Iranian vote for change, and Mohammad Khatami took the presidency. He is the leader of Iranian Islamic reformist who believes in regime, but they want step by step make Islamic Republic of Iran modern and more democratic. they couldn’t make big change; however, they made some more civil liberties as those eight years they had been governing. After them, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president and 8 years he ruling with populism. He said in Iran there is no homosexual. He is an Islamic conservative politician who support by Shia radicalism party. In 2009 presidency election he made big questionable victory that people went to street to ask: where is my vote, but the suppressing protests made a movement called Iranian Green Movement. From that movement everything for Iranian youth change. Four years after that Hassan Ruhani became president while the leader ask who do not believe to regime come and vote. After that presidency election regime got some legitimacy back. However, youth never forgot what regime done in 2009.

Most of Iranian are youth and they want more personal freedom. In Iran Alcohol is prohibited, Hijab is mandatory (nor short and top for man; woman allows to show just face), women and men can not take them hands if they are not officially married, kissing is crime, swimming is prohibited for women and etc. Also any protest does not tolerate by police, and them intelligent agencies are strong.

Homosexuality is a crime and same-sex sexual activities has strong punishment as execution. In post “Holes of death for Iranian homosexual” I clarify about the law and problems. There are roughly 200 countries in world and for about ten of these countries has death penalty for men same-sex sex. I born in one of these countries. Hi! My name is Shayan; welcome to my story.


Holes of death for Iranian homosexual

Holes of death for Iranian homosexual

How much of a pines goes into a man anus can execute him or have some lashes. This sentence at the first may make people laugh, but this is the exact sharia law in Iran which can find into Islamic Penal Code. Every day Iranian gay, lesbian or bisexual wake up, and face to this kind of law before, while and after any sexual activity. Islamic regime in Iran follow sharia law which has specific terms about any same-sex activity with specific punishment as well. Also regime has some law that they can punish people if people do not like the ruling regime. In this post I will explain what I call holes of death and the law about homosexuality in the Islamic Penal Code 2013.

Islamic Penal Code is the most important law in Iran. First version of that made in 1991, but in 2013 changed and made some law more complicated such as “Efsad-e-fel-arz” (Corruption on Earth). In article 286 explain, “Any person, who extensively commits felony against the bodily entity of people, offenses against internal or international security of the state, spreading lies, disruption of the economic system of the state, arson and destruction of properties, distribution of poisonous and bacterial and dangerous materials, and establishment of, or aiding and abetting in, places of corruption and prostitution, [on a scale] that causes severe disruption in the public order of the state and insecurity, or causes harsh damage to the bodily entity of people or public or private properties, or causes distribution of corruption and prostitution on a large scale, shall be considered as mofsed-e-fel-arz [corrupt on earth] and shall be sentenced to death.” This shows, any activity that regime scare might be in danger can punish with death. I call this law as a hole of death because system can be label to sentence anyone who they do not like them to death. Indeed, Iran has a totality regime which from out side is hard to see. The leader can control everything directly and indirectly. The ruling regime has two army: one for protect the country and another one to protect the Islamic revelation. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah) is regime machine to suppress dissent, and the leader control both directly as the head of the judicial. Therefore, by the law Sepah arrests and the courts condemns. It is easy to sentenced dissent to death until the public opinion be aware about a specific case which in another post I will talk about that. In brief, holes of death are some law like Efsad-e-fel-arz that regime destroy who they scare of them for any reason like homosexual community.

Islamic Republic of Iran have complicated law about LGBTQ community. On these rules the law does not pointing bisexuals and queers; however, same-sex sexual act especially between marred person got the most punishment. In Islamic Penal Code (IPC) the legislators make up the law from sharia terms which seems more complicated. To explain that, they used term of  livat, tafkhiz, and musaheqeh; however, ihsan situation (married person) makes different punishment. let’s start with definition of these terms from the IPC. In article 233, “Livat is defined as penetration of a man’s sex organ (penis), up to the point of circumcision, into another male person’s anus.” In article 235, “Tafkhiz is defined as putting a man’s sex organ (penis) between the thighs or buttocks of another male person.” In a simple word if pines went into the anus more than glans, is livat. If went not more than foreskin and or play around a bottom of another man, is tafkhiz. For female same-sex sex the terms calls musaheqeh which in article 238 describes, “Musaheqeh is defined as where a female person puts her sex organ on the sex organ of another person of the same sex.” Also from 2013 the IPC made homosexuality as a crime. Article 237 says, “Homosexual acts of a male person in cases other than livat and tafkhiz, such as kissing or touching as a result of lust, shall be punishable by thirty-one to seventy-four lashes of ta’zir punishment of the sixth grade. Note 1- This article shall be equally applicable in the case of a female person. Note 2- This article shall not be applicable in the cases punishable by a hadd punishment under Shari’a rules.” These terms are not the confuse part of IPC because the punishments and how to established it is the confusion.

Let’s focus on each term for punishment and proof individually. First, livat punish as article 234 says, “The hadd punishment for livat shall be the death penalty for the insertive/active party if he has committed livat by using force, coercion, or in cases where he meets the conditions for ihsan; otherwise, he shall be sentenced to one hundred lashes. The hadd punishment for the receptive/passive party, in any case (whether or not he meets the conditions for ihsan) shall be the death penalty. Note 1- If the insertive/active party is a non-Muslim and the receptive/passive party is a Muslim, the hadd punishment for the insertive/active party shall be the death penalty. Note 2- Ihsan is defined as a status that a man is married to a permanent and pubescent wife and whilst he has been sane and pubescent has had a vaginal intercourse with the same wife while she was pubescent, and he can have an intercourse with her in the same way [vaginal] whenever he so wishes.” That is to say, the top who was the active and passed his pines more than foreskin in another man anus (livat) will death penalty as long as it was a rape. Also If the active had consensual livat, but he is married man (ihsan situation) or not Muslim, will sentenced to death. The bottom will be killed anyway. Next, in IPC 2013, prof of livat is complicated and has a big trick. Proof of livat, also tafkhiz and musaheqeh, needs four men witnesses who watch the sex or four time confess (article 172, 199). In the same way, there is another hole of death for who did livat, also tafkhiz and musaheqeh. To illustrate, the legislator used sharia, and gave power to judge in article 162, “Where the relevant evidence does not meet the requirements provided in law and Shari’a, they can be used as judicial signs [hearsay evidence] provided that, together with other circumstantial and hearsay evidences, they result in the knowledge of the judge.” Also in article 211 Knowledge of the judge explain, “defined as a certainty resulting from manifest evidence in a matter brought before him. In cases where a judgment is based on the knowledge of the judge [as the proof of the offense], he is obliged to stipulate in the judgment the manifest circumstantial and hearsay evidence that has been the source of his knowledge.” This shows that, judges in Iran courts has the power as they are above the law as the leader is too by the law. Any crime in Iran can be proof by the knowledge of the judge such as tafkhiz and musaheqeh, and the judges can say a tafkhis case is livat and sentenced to death.  In sum, men same-sex passives have to dead while actives can sentenced to one hundred lashes if only if they are Muslim, single, and been in a consensual male same-sex sex.

Punishments for tafkhis and musaheqeh are different than livat, but has same hadd. First, for tafkhiz the law says death penalty for non-Muslims active. Article 236, “In the case of tafkhiz, the hadd punishment for the active and passive party shall be one hundred lashes and it shall make no difference whether or not the offender meets the conditions of ihsan [mentioned in note 2 of article 234], or whether or not [the offender] has resorted to coercion.” Therefore, the judge can find knowledge about the active and says he is not Muslim anymore and execute him. Also if three time tafkhiz happened, in fourth time the punishment is execution as well (article 136). Second, punishment for musaheqeh is same as tafkhis, but without any different between active and passive. Indeed, there is no death penalty for lesbians; however, the hadd is the highest lashes in sharia. hadd means, “a punishment for which the grounds for, type, amount and conditions of execution are specified in holy Shari’a”(article 15). There is no way to change the lashes to any things like prison because it came from sharia which called hadd. In a word, one hundred lashes are right for some same-sex sex named tafkhis and musaheqeh if only if the judge do not point “his” knowledge by any reason.

Until now might be clear that law in Iran focused on what happened on bed of any person who touched sex organ of another person by them sex organ, but there is more about identity and taboo. As earlier mentioned the term of homosexuality in Iran is criminalized from 2013, and made more difficult life for Iranian gay, lesbian and bisexual community. Article 237 bring two examples for homosexuality, “such as kissing or touching as a result of lust,” and punished by thirty-one to seventy-four lashes. To clarify, kissing and touching is examples for homosexuality, and homosexual is a person who inclined to same-sex sexual act and emotional as well which we called homosexuality. According to knowledge of judge and Efsad-e-fel-arz the judge in Iran can pointing anyone who they believe they are homosexual, and make heavy sentences. If a gay or a lesbian condemned to Efsad-e-fel-arz, it will be hard to say Islamic Republic of Iran punish or kill homosexuals. However, understanding about the regime law and holes of death can help the international community about what is going on in Iran. Next, homosexuality is a taboo in Iran society and most of people there are homophobic. To illustrate that, Iranian LGBTQ+ community does not have as many as faces on front of media even who living in a free country because they scare to show themselves to the Iran society. In the same way, the family do not tell anyone about them darling who arrested under name of livat, tafkhis or anything related to homosexuality. Therefore, for human rights activists and community is hard to defend them or even make a campaign to save them life. by the taboo the judicial punish anyone to death even though using Efsad-e-fel-arz to hide the reason; trick the international community.

In the end, holes of death in Islamic penal Code 2013 makes the execution of Iranian homosexual even though the law punished them for death, lashes and prison. Understanding this darkness in Islamic Republic of Iran laws will help the international community to push Islamic Republic of Iran for stop execution gay people and brutal punishment of them.